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Macon luring ‘The Originals’ TV series back for another bite

A production crew works on the Hay House grounds Wednesday morning.
A production crew works on the Hay House grounds Wednesday morning. wmarshall@macon.com

Fans who really sink their teeth into “The Originals” television series might see a glimpse of themselves this season.

CW’s spin-off of “The Vampire Diaries” will soon be back in Macon looking for extras for another episode of Season 3.

During filming, you can bet that Heather Brown will be watching and waiting.

“Oh yes, I’ll go back,” said Brown, whose three-hour stint Wednesday scored her a photograph with actor Daniel Gillies, who portrays Elijah Mikaelson. “They were very nice.”

The feeling appears to be mutual for the stars and crew of the Warner Bros. production.

“Macon-Bibb County has been very good to us,” Eva McKenna, a production staffer on “The Originals,” said in an email.

The centuries-old tale of vampire families shot a Season 1 episode at Macon’s Grand Opera House. This season, the Hay House sets the stage.

Macon Film Commission member Elliott Dunwody said the city is getting a reputation for being film-friendly.

“When we get calls now, it’s because they’ve heard about other films,” he said.

Word of mouth also spawns favorites among Macon restaurants.

The vampire set crew particularly enjoyed The Rookery, Dovetail, Taste & See Coffee, Nu-Way Weiners and American Feel & Wings, McKenna said.

Bibb County’s variety of architecture and terrain help attract those who want to set a scene in another place and time.

Macon-Bibb County Parks and Beautification Director Stephen Lawson said each movie or television episode teaches him a new lesson about coordinating film production.

“It’s getting easier every time,” said Lawson, who admits he was very quiet while shuttling Clint Eastwood onto the set of the first movie he worked, “Trouble with the Curve,” at Luther Williams Field.

When filming is on private property like the Hay House, Lawson’s role mainly is advanced meetings with the crew.

“I make sure we know how it’s going to affect the people,” Lawson said. Later this month, Maconites should prepare for cameras to return, he said.

“They’ve been really good and easy to work with,” Lawson said.

Shannon Murray is hoping she’ll get another chance to stargaze.

The 28-year-old wife and mother made two trips Wednesday to the Hay House.

“I’m a huge fan of ‘The Originals,’ ” she said. “I cruised down there first thing in the morning.”

She only saw crews setting up lighting equipment outside.

After breaking from work, she headed back to the Georgia Avenue mansion and caught the actors coming down the marble steps, headed out to lunch.

Although she wasn’t close enough to speak to them, she photographed Gillies and co-stars Charles Michael Davis, who plays Marcel Gerard, and Joseph Morgan, who is Klaus Mikaelson on the show.

“I feel like I’m the biggest fan girl, but I think it’s really neat that ‘The Originals’ came here to Macon,” Murray said.

She hopes to see them again, but has no interest in joining them as an extra.

“I’d get camera shy,” she said.

There will be upcoming opportunities for those interested in work as an extra.

“We would love for more locals to be part of our show in the future,” McKenna said.

Extras casting director Tammy Smith is accepting headshots, resumes and inquiries emailed to originalsextras@tscasting.com.

As for what role the Hay House plays in the serial drama, McKenna said: “We can’t reveal specific details on how it will be incorporated yet -- fans will have to tune in to find out.”

The show’s Season 3 premieres Oct. 8.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 and follow her on Twitter @liz_lines.

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